We Are Like Sheep Without a Shepherd

We Are Like Sheep Without a Shepherd July 17, 2021

We are like sheep without a shepherd.
We are like sheep without a shepherd. “Jesus Teaches the People by the Sea,” by J. Tissot. Brooklyn Museum / Public Domain.


We are like sheep without a shepherd, and
so Christ’s heart is moved with pity for us.


Mark 6:30-34 for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  


In one of Christ’s parables, he told us of a good shepherd who left behind his whole flock to go out searching for one lost sheep.

Today in the Gospel, the situation was the reverse.

A great throng of people, like a flock of sheep without a shepherd, went out to search for Christ.

They had begun to understand that he is the Good Shepherd from God.

So, they flocked to him, wanting the good things he did for them— not only bodily healings, but also his teaching.

They had already worn him out, not even leaving him time to feed himself.

When they saw him take a boat to cross a lake, they spread word to all the nearby towns.

They left their towns, and they rushed on foot around the lake so fast that they reached the other side before Christ landed.

And how did he greet this crowd that was starving to have him?

His Gospel told us:

his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.

Eventually, Christ would go so far as to offer his very self as real food to feed these and many more hungry people.

He spoke of it at one point, saying:  I give my life for my sheep.

You and I are also his sheep.

We, too, are part of a vast crowd that seeks and follows him.

We may not have run around a lake to be here to meet Christ in his liturgy.

Yet we should have such eagerness for him as to run were it necessary.

Which of us would not run were to learn a beloved one was dying?

Well, here in the liturgy, in the Blessed Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood, the Beloved One is “dying”— giving his life for us his sheep.

At the same time, he is also the Risen One, giving his life, his resurrection, his very self for us his sheep.

These are the mysteries of our faith.

This is what we believe; and it should drive us to run after Christ.

And why?

Because faith also tells us that without Christ we are like sheep without a shepherd, a body without a head, a bride without a groom, a temple empty and without God.

Ours would be life and death without meaning or hope.

Here in the liturgy is our shepherd and our teacher, our God, our truest food and drink.

Here is Life.

It is here that we can find the meaning of life and the reason for all hope.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  


Turn. Love. Repeat.


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